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Technology

Tobias Baer takes a consumer’s approach to mobile phones and offers a solution to simplify owning and operating this now ubiquitous device. … every couple of weeks you would wake up to a software update; … as a result, the sofa will have been moved to the kitchen, and the TV into the bathtub; … the “toast” function of your toaster was discontinued, but it now can record movies; … your living room has a new greenish colour scheme –…
How do physical assets fit into blockchains? In this article, Wojciech Gryc explains how this can be done and provides a few examples.  Most of the excitement in crypto today focuses on digital assets: governance tokens, community memberships, NFTs, and more. There’s an incredible amount of innovation here… But how do we bring physical assets onto blockchains?1 Bringing assets onto crypto and fractionalizing them is still a new territory, both legally and from a logistics perspective. We’ll discuss how this…
As AI becomes more embedded in every facet of business, Jayanth Krishnan explores how it can impact your business and what to consider in a strategy to lessen the impact. The interaction between an economic downturn and technological innovation can produce unpleasant surprises to business. Having a template to think how technology and economy can create a double whammy is worth spending time. Impact of AI on labor and staffing There are three generic forms in which AI is being…
Patrice Gorin provides an overview of using software as a means of digital self management and how it can help promote team productivity. As described in my previous blog (Software as a Second Self: SaaS2), our ability to handle life in all its many facets is under constant pressure. As a result, it is becoming increasingly important for individuals and teams to find ways to reduce overwhelm and achieve goals. I love Tiago Forte’s approach to digital self management. He…
James Stranko offers an inside view of Silicon Valley and how siloed the area is from the rest of the world.  Silicon Valley is Failing At Geography Every time I arrive in California, my facial muscles relax. It’s like magic. Without having to leave the country, I feel far from the problems in the rest of the U.S., and even farther from the world’s problems. Dare I say I’m jealous that this special land concentrates so many good things in…
Sven Beiker shares an article that explains how the biggest challenge facing automated driving is real-world traffic. Nice interview here with SAE International for their monthly magazine “Update“. My piece is titled “Realities of traffic make automated driving a challenge”. It is a conversation around what is missing to bring autonomous vehicles (automated driving to use the right SAE term) to the real world. I am glad that SAE asked as I have been discussing a lot over the years…
Sean McCoy shares a post that takes a look ahead at the value of 3D printing homes.  For a technology to disrupt an industry, it must be technologically feasible and commercially viable. The 3D printing of homes has satisfied the first condition, and entrepreneurs are working to satisfy the second. Every construction company should ask itself: what will the world of 3D-printing homes look like, and what is my role in it? The first step is to understand where 3D…
Morten Stilling shares a podcast from his series Lifting Construction. In this episode, Michael Moran from digital construction consultancy Telos Systems explains how he, together with three client companies, has successfully laid the foundation to benchmark construction project performance, identify potential improvements, digitize, and lift performance to the highest level of performance.   Access the full podcast, Three steps to build your executive dashboard, on Spot-Solutions.dk….
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Karen Zwiebel. Karen is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience as a strategy consultant and business executive. While working at McKinsey & Company and as an Independent Professional, she has helped clients define, develop, grow and optimize their businesses. As an executive at several international banks, she oversaw the launch of new businesses, managed $10 Billion of bank expense and led large international change efforts such as digital modernization, product development, business…
Carlo Palmieri shares ten key insights from a study on consumer interest in self-driving cars. The Internet of Things is a reality and it is going to permeate our daily lives even more in the near future. From Smart Homes to Wearables and Connected Cars, the applications of Internet of Things are rapidly increasing in number. In this context  it is pivotal to understand what customers really think about it and what their attitudes are. I have recently read an…
Astrid Malval-Beharry shares a case study on building a disruptive smart home solution for an InsurTech startup.  Situation An InsurTech startup approached StratMaven for assistance with a monetization strategy for their smart-home solution. The company wanted to understand whether insurance carriers were interested in subsidizing the cost of the solution, as part of their overall objectives of improving the policyholder experience, preventing claims, and reducing overall costs.   Analysis StratMaven conducted in-depth interviews with carriers and surveyed policyholders to test the…
Peet van Biljon shares a recently published article on quantum computing in finance. There are two competing narratives on quantum computing. The first is that the technology is overhyped, still in its infancy, beset by enormous technical challenges and that full-scale, reliable quantum computers are decades away. The second is that many companies, including some of the world’s most prominent financial institutions such as Barclays, BBVA, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and RBS are investing in, and experimenting with, quantum-computing applications and…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Nick Mork with Value Unlimited LLC. Nick spent eight years with Bain and Company, finishing in the case team leader role. He specialized in consumer products and private equity clients and was always rated top of his class for analysis. He then opened his own practice, performing Bain-like projects for clients at a fraction of the cost. One of those clients, a Fortune 500 paper and packaging company, hired him to be a senior director…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Richard L. Koppel with MilestoneCVC. Richard has over 35 years of domestic and global experience in management consulting, transformation/change management, and technology operations/partnering. He has lived and worked throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. He maintains a global reputation in technology, enabling innovation for transformational change. He has significant M&A experience including delivering numerous post-merger integration programs across the financial services, professional services, and entertainment industry sectors. He has held senior roles including Consulting Partner…
Wojciech Gryc shares a post on how GPT-3 impacts the user experience. A great deal has been written about GPT-3 and its potential impact and hype on AI, machine learning, and data science. This post aims to look at the user experience around GPT-3 instead. Specifically, why do some people see GPT-3 as a magical innovation? What does this tell us about AI-driven products we don’t fully understand? I’ve been exploring GPT-3 for the past few weeks and have been…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Alexei Beltyukov with US Energy Ventures. Alexei spent five years working on strategy projects at McKinsey and has been an entrepreneur since 2007. His industry experience is mostly in traditional (oil&gas) and clean energy and transportation. Turnarounds and technology-based solutions for legacy industries are his passion….
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Alexander Savchuk. Alexander Savchuk started his career in Bain and subsequently has been running his own Moscow based telecom&IT consulting firm. Alexander developed entry strategy to the CIS markets and/or assisted in business development for a couple of dozens of hightech firms, to name a few: MCI, AT&T, Motorola, Siemens, Telenor, Ericsson, Microsoft, Cisco. All major Russian telecom companies were among clients of Alexander’s firm for strategy development for years. In 2014 Alexander decided to…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Anil Kale with Midway Growth Partners.  Anil has over 20 years of experience in accelerating the growth of startups and business units of larger companies. Key experiences include growing Les Mills On Demand from $4M to $65M 2017-2020, Micron Imaging from $16M to $749M 2003-2008 and building 3 startups (one which went public, one which was purchased, and one that raised $68M from tier 1 VC’s). Anil has been consulting through his own agency since…
  It’s always interesting to take a look back while stepping forward. In this older post from Supriya Prakash Sen, the use of AI technology in the workplace was explored. How does it compare to today’s outlook? The news has been awash with provocative articles about the future of jobs in our society. The exponentially advancing nature of Artificially Intelligent machines, after AlphaGo turned out to be a better Go player than any human – combined with the power of…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Theresa Nanigian with TN Executive Coaching. Theresa is an executive coach with a particular expertise in leadership. She works with senior leaders, those in leadership transition and teams to successfully lead themselves and others by taking a future-back approach to sustainable individual/organisational change. Before establishing her coaching practice, Theresa worked at McKinsey as a management consultant, headed strategic planning at a division of GlaxoSmithKline and ran a worldwide technology division at American Express. She lives…
  Thomas K Hamann recently published two chapters in the book Managing Work in the Digital Economy.   New Forms of Creating Value: Platform-Enabled Gig Economy Today and in 2030 by Thomas K. Hamann & Stefan Güldenberg Abstract This chapter explains the origins and development of the so-called gig economy and it provides a typology for the platform-enabled gig economy, including all types of gig work reaching from location-independent microtasking towards location-bound and interaction-intensive knowledge work. In addition, the importance of…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Alp Refik. Alp is a seasoned consultant and sales and marketing leader with extensive project implementation and digital transformation experience. Broad industry exposure, from technology to banking to FMCG. Strong commercial and project management skills. Alp has spend last 5 years developing digital marketing solutions for fortune 500 under Google large customers organisation and managed agency networks as well as direct client relationships. Alp is based in Amsterdam and fluent in English and Turkish….
  Tobias Baer draws attention to the danger of selective perception becoming the norm as the use of AI in online information and marketing limits the amount of information delivered.  There is a famous psychological experiment where participants intently watch a basketball game – but when asked afterwards about the gorilla that had danced around amidst the players, nobody has seen it. It’s the literal textbook example of selective perception – in this experiment, participants were tasked with counting the…
  Daune Capuano shares a whitepaper on how to turn your technology and strategic goals into action.  Does your association struggle with data trapped in an outdated association management platform that does not interact with your current systems and restricts your organization’s ability to implement new software for  new products and services ? Are you concerned that your current Learning Management System (LMS) has become antiquated and cannot add new features such as webinars and classes using stream video technology…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Neil Bansal with Coppertree Partners.  Neil  is a 20+ year New York based executive and former McKinsey consultant who is passionate about building, scaling and leading businesses across consumer/retail, financial and technology sectors. He most recently served as Managing Director and Head of Transformation at BNP Paribas in the Americas where he focused on strategy, innovation and digital transformation. Neil recently launched Coppertree Partners as a platform for independent consulting work and thought leadership….
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Jose Fornell with Impact Point Co.  Jose has over 13 years of experience with BCG and Alvarez and Marsal advising under-performing and distressed companies. He has advised companies in the SaaS, consumer, automotive, logistics, technology, manufacturing, and telecom industries. His core areas of expertise include transformation management, turnaround/restructuring, and the Office of the CFO. While at BCG, Jose led numerous transformation management offices responsible for developing and executing holistic programs at multi-billion dollar clients, including…
  Amy Giddon shares insight gained on social media through an App developed by her company that was designed to improve the social media experience by cultivating a better connection.  We created Daily Haloha to be a positive collective experience of reflection and connection. At a time when connections are frayed and our spirits dampened, we were struck by how participatory art and story sharing projects could uplift and unite us in a moment of shared humanity. We were inspired…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Thomas Steiner with Steiner Advisory.  Tom Steiner combines eight years as a leader in industry with four years of consulting experience, at McKinsey and as an independent. He has served in roles including Sr. Director, Corporate Strategy; Head of Supply Chain; and in various hands-on operational positions where he has led up to 400 people. Tom is particularly passionate about leading transformational change programs for clients.  He has functional expertise in supply chain, operations, strategy,…
  Paul Millerd takes a look at business growth data from the 1970’s onward to build a vision of future organizations and explain how the changing business landscape will impact the work environment.  I have studied organizations, people and motivation and am fascinated by the changes that have unfolded in my relatively short career. I’ll defer to Neils Bohr to qualify this entire piece: ‘Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future’ — Neils Bohr Since I can’t predict the…
  Ryan Lechner shares an article on the current status of Blockchain, a look into Web3.0, and the future of a user-centric online society. For the last year and a half, I’ve done my part to convert Web 3.0 from promise to reality. I’ve looked at hundreds of blockchain projects, spent countless hours evaluating the space, and helped ConsenSys build out various aspects of its business. These past 18 months have been the greatest intellectual journey of my career. Every…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Mike Mortensen with Tandem Analytics. Mike has advised business leaders at the intersection of strategy and technology for more than a decade. His experience in business transformation comes from three perspectives: business strategy at McKinsey & Company, machine learning implementation at IBM, and as a business executive responsible for growth at a global conglomerate. Prior to Tandem Analytics, Mike led teams of business consultants and data scientists to support IBM clients in developing analytics and…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Astrid Marechal with Paraty 22 SA. Astrid Marechal began her career as a Tire Designer at Goodyear Technical Center in Luxembourg.  Later, she  was an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company where she worked for ten years in North America, Brazil, Russia and Western Europe. Astrid has extensive expertise in strategy development, transformation and go-to-market solutions across multiple B2B industries, including industrial, technology and materials sectors. She has held several interim management positions as P&L…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Elias Boustani. Elias is a Strategy Consultant with 13 years of experience. He has led the design and implementation of Tech entrepreneurship programs for the World Bank, General Electric, the American University of Beirut (AUB), Expo 2020 Dubai, MCIT KSA, and Beirut Digital District among others. Prior to that, Elias was a Senior Associate for Strategy& (previously booz&co) working in the Telecom practice on Corporate strategy, Marketing strategy, Demand analytics, Business Planning, Human Capital and…
  Hugo Bernier shares his expertise in technology to explain how gateway services work and how to install one.  When using cloud-based services like Office 365 and the Power Platform, it can be challenging to integrate with your on-premises resources. All of a sudden, your on-premises databases, APIs, file shares, and even your existing on-premises SharePoint infrastructure become impossible to reach. At least, not without making some giant holes in your firewall. At our recent Toronto Citizen Developer User Group…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Liz Kenny.  Liz Kenny is a former McKinsey consultant with eight years of independent consulting and freelance experience. She partners with clients to drive sales growth as either a consultant, or a short-term embedded team member. Liz has a strong blend of both consulting and operating experience, and has supported strategic initiatives across a wide range of industries including retail, technology, media and entertainment, and financial services. Liz balances her time between strategic and creative…
  With so much press about how our technological habits create disconnection, Hugo Bernier explains how technology also gives people the tools and access to build connections. I work crazy hours. To top it off, I commute a total of 3 hours every day. When I get home from work, I’m usually exhausted.  One of my guilty pleasures is to play a video game with my kids. When they were younger, we’d play one of the many Lego games on…
  Miklos Tomka illuminates the importance of doing what you can to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus is spreading fast and has spread inside of hospitals in China, exposing hospital staff. Various places are a source for spreading infections, light switches that everyone touches, is clearly one of these. Ubiquilux has developed a product to reduce the risk of infections spreading in hospitals: a gesture controlled light switch. A light switch which does not react to random…
  Tobias Baer provides clear and concise examples of how Google uses the acquisition of select data to create bias, which leads to the dissemination of inaccurate information.     I’m an avid user of the navigation function of Google Maps. Every time I reach my destination, Google asks me for feedback on the navigation instructions. What could possibly be wrong with that? Well, I bet that the data and any analytics derived from that feedback often – and, vastly! –…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Michael Casaburi with Revulus Growth Partners to our community. Michael Casaburi spent 13 years at Bain and has been running a boutique consulting firm focused on market due diligence for investors and growth strategy for companies since 2013. Michael brings top tier consulting approaches to investors (e.g., PE firms), the middle market, and BUs of large companies. He’s worked with some of the largest investors/companies globally as well as smaller firms/companies. Michael lives in a Chicago, Illinois suburb…
Jason George takes a look at the mind maps of the London Cabbie to illustrate the difference between storing knowledge in the brain and accessing knowledge stored elsewhere. Having been built up over hundreds of years into its current dense and meandering tangle, London’s road network shows few signs of the regularity that characterizes its counterparts in younger countries. Prior to the advent of cheap map technology, anyone wanting to explore unfamiliar neighborhoods would need a detailed atlas to find…